Harcourts NSW posted a 26 per cent surge in settled sales for the year to March despite having fewer agents and offices, and more growth is expected following the appointment of a new franchise development manager, its CEO has said.
Talking at Harcourts NSW annual awards, held in Sydney on the weekend, CEO Sadhana Smiles said the good sales result placed the NSW arm of Australia’s third largest real estate franchise group in a strong position for the year ahead.
“Across the country we are starting to see consolidation of groups and independent offices,” Ms Smiles told the 120 attendees.
“We have had our own challenges and success. However, as a Group we continue to grow.”
“We are 75 offices strong in NSW, and with our new franchise development manager (FDM), [we are] set for growth over the next 12 months.”
“Over the next 12 months you will see us grow in terms of number of offices and people, you will see new marketing and training initiatives that will help you leverage your brand in your market place, and despite what the real estate market is doing Harcourts NSW will continue to grow market share in the areas our offices are in.”
Sales volume was also up by 24 per cent for the year to March, she added, and Harcourts NSW also reported a 50 per cent jump in the average sale commission per sales consultant.
Ms Smiles acknowledged that the country’s “two-speed economy”, Europe’s economic instability, and the “battle” between the Reserve Bank of Australia and the major banks in relation to interest rate movements were combining to make life tough for Australians.
“We have stock but buyers are at a premium, the rental market is tight, however, we are generally not seeing massive rent increases, and what is interesting is that there are more agents who have never worked in a market such as this right now,” she continued.
“We can’t control the economy, Europe, or the market. However, we can control how well we manage our vendors, how well we work our buyers, how sharp we are at pricing property, how good we are at communicating to all parties, and investing in yourself and using the tools Harcourts provides you [to] leverage your brand in your market place.
“You will often hear those of us who have been around for a while say, and I know my message has been the same all year, do the basics well and in this market, do it really, really well.”
Harcourts Campbelltown, Harcourts Hills Living, from Sydney’s north west, and Harcourts Unlimited, from Blacktown, in Sydney’s western suburbs, were some of the group’s most awarded offices on the night.